Wednesday, February 20, 2013

For The Birds!

Well, this has been one interesting trip as most of you know!  If you can believe it, we are STILL in Oklahoma.  But our plans (chuckle, chuckle), is to leave in the next few days AGAIN.

In the mean time, we did manage to get a LOT of work done around the house and property including the trimming of hedging and the falling of some dead trees.  After getting most of the mess out of the way, we starting thinking of how to beautify this aging property so that it is more pleasurable to come back to every year.  Now for some reason unknown to me, I decided that putting out a bird feeder would be a good idea.  I have two cockatiels that I have owned for the past 7 years named Bubbles and Pickles......

Meet "Bubbles"....

And "Ms Pickles"......


ok.  So, one would think that having two of my own birds right in my home would be sufficient. For some reason, my love of animals got to me and I decided on this little bird feeder out on our front porch. It was only there a couple of hours before a couple of birds showed up and realized that that "thing" hanging over the bush was not going to eat them...ha.


Then I noticed the bush itself!  Oh dear......


I had to go to breakfast to think about where this adventure might be leading us......haha.  So, we went to a place called "Jimmy's Egg".



I guess this is "Jimmy".....hahaha


I have recently subscribed to a social networking site called "Pinterest" where you....well, pin up your interest.  One of the things I discovered was how to make some bird baths from practically nothing or very cheap.  I figured...Hey, if they eat surely they need something to wash things down with and bath...right?  So, we headed off to Goodwill and some other thrift stores to see what we could come up with to help our feathered friends.  I found these three items; (child's mirror, candle holder, pot top)  for less than 5 dollars and came up with this.......

  

the trick was to somehow secure the pot lid to the candle holder thingee in such a way that when the birds sit on it, it will not tip over.  Scootard took the foam handles of some garden kneeling pad to make it fit more securely together.



Then I thought....Hey!  why not put a bird feeder outside of the kitchen window along with a "makeshift" bird bath?  I took an old plant stand and put a pan from a planter pot on it, put some little rocks in it for weight and presto; a bird bath!  It didn't take much time before they found this one too.  But we also had to look up some other birds that were showing up to see what they were.  the ones you see at the feeder are "house sparrows"

 but we now have two pairs of Doves and some Rose Neck Finches that show up every day as well.  I took this picture off the web of a ring necked dove.  I never seem to have my camera when the two pairs show up in the back yard....




And here is a picture of a male cardinal that comes.  We have also seen a female which has a brown body and a red face....



but these are my favorite ones....the Rose Neck or some call it the "Cut Throat" finch....there are lots of these that come....

 I have seen one or two of these robins hanging around, but I think the others run them off since there is power in numbers!


and this is a shot of the House Sparrow feeder from the kitchen window.  Notice the makeshift bird bath on the left....:-)

 
Part of our beautification process for this old house is to replace a fence in the back that has been repaired twice in the past year.



but of course you cannot (or should not) "replace" a fence without checking with the city first and obtaining permits.  After they come out and locate the lines for cable, gas and internet, they will mark the lines with flags and paint so that they workers will not dig the ground in that area.

Before they came out, we figured there were some things we "could" do without their permission that would not get in the way of any thing.  We decided to put out some solar lights (three of which we have had to return) and we separated some Iris bulbs that had stopped blooming because of over crowding through the years. Hopefully, they will bloom again with a little tender loving care.  This red flag was put there by the telephone and cable company.  It runs the length of the yard from the house out to the alley..



This one is from the gas company and it runs along the back fence all the way to the meter...



  Somewhere in our travels, we turned into "American Pickers" and found our way to another thrift store after eyeballing some beautification options for the backyard.  We found this chair that a lady wanted to charge us $10.00 dollars for.  We managed to get her down to $5.00.  But it does need some help.  So, we picked up some white exterior gloss paint and some brushes to give it a "face lift" of sorts later.  Not bad -eh?



This is a picture of what I hope to accomplish when we return.......





I also managed to snag this child safety fence that I will use "somewhere out there" for a lattice for some trailing roses or some other colorful vine....:-). Right now, the plan is to use it as a cover for a brick grill that is desperate need of repair or rebuild. total price for this fence?...$5.00!



 I am happy to say that our Ficus trees that we whacked back a few weeks ago are starting to give us some new leaves.  I mean they were cut back to virtually nothing.  I wasn't sure it was going to survive!

 

Meanwhile, I decided to take a look at the bird feeder hanging at the kitchen window and this is what I saw!  There was no more room at the feeder so the birds starting lining up on the fence and window sills!  And we had already plowed through 25 pounds of wild bird food!


And then a quick peek out front and they were lined up on the garden border because they wasn't any more room at the feeder.  I moved the bird bath down to the garden and off the porch!  Sheesh....what was I thinking when I started this??.  Scootard is sure that we have over 200 birds showing up now. We have been able to add the Robin Red Breast to the visitors list now but you don't see him in this picture.   oh dear....

and as you can see, we have lined the flower bed with plastic to kill out any grass and weeds and prep the ground for when we return to do some planting.


It was time to buy more food after only 3 days!
This is a 50 pound bag.  haha.  When we pulled up to the co-op, the guys says "I knew you would be back"! haha.  I told him that they were eating us out of house and home...hahaha.  He went on to tell us that some of the farmers have been complaining that the larger birds are pulling the grasses up from the root and causes problems for the horses and cows. He told us that the natural food source for these birds are either dormant or underground for the winter.  So, they depend on humans to keep them supplied.   My family doesn't see how that is possible that the farmers are having such problems since every bird in Oklahoma has gotten the word that there is plenty of food and water at our house!  We haven't seen the larger birds with the exception of the doves though.


I thought, perhaps I need another bird bath to put somewhere.  I found this anchor/hocking dish at the same place I found the chair and gave the lady $4.00 for it.  I found the decorative glass rocks for $1.00 at the Dollar Tree......:-).  cool- eh?.  I think I'd better quit now!


Scootard decided to join the festivities and added two hanging bird baths....


here is the second one....



It is mid day and all of the feeders are empty!  I have cut open the second 50 pound bag.......




We have counted three separate flocks of birds that have to total close to 300 by now!  I'm sure they will find somewhere else to get their daily meals after Scootard and I leave for Canada in a few days....

Wow......what an experience!  hahaha.  Maybe humming birds would be a better choice?  haha

gee whiz!


6 comments:

Scootard said...

Had 1 known when agreeing to the first feeder that it would turn into 3 feeders 6 bird baths and replenishment of feeders hourly, I might have had second thoughts.

At least the little buggers are well fed, and that's a good thing. I love the fact that you have a heart for all of God's creatures but seriously there are about 4-500 birds out there, somewhat reminiscent of an old Hitchcock movie. Sheesh!

Patricia Carpenter said...

the funny thing is to stand at the window, wave my arms and watch them all dissappear into the hedges around the house...haha. It's like watching a cartoon or something haha. Well, I am thinking of moving them to the back of the house. I have seen a few folks get smacked in the face by a huge flock while riding past on bicycles and stuff...ha.

geeze.....

Dar said...

Those are very lucky little birds. Our neighbour feeds all the local birdery. Sometimes unfortunately there is Cooper's Hawk that comnes by and sees it as a bird smorgasbord and gets more than a few lunches and dinners. Thankfully we have a very prickly hawthorne bush that the little birds scoot into.

Patricia Carpenter said...

Hey Dar,

Haven't had problems with Hawks or blackbirds "yet". The blackbirds all seem to congregate at the local Walmart....haha. I just swept the porch...again. I think I might have found a new weight loss program with all of this walking back and forth and sweeping motion going on over here..haha

Trobairitz said...

Awesome. We love feeding the birds. We have three large bird feeders we keep stocked with black oil sunflower seeds and two birdbaths in our backyard.

We find in our Oregon rain the sunflower seeds hold up better and actually give us the widest variety of birds too.

Glad you are having fun with your feathered friends before traveling home.

Patricia Carpenter said...

I thought about getting larger feeders and moving them to the back. But I wouldn't be able to see them unless I actually went out there. this way I can see them every time they come over from the huge hedge across the street.